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Miss World Australia contestant Jessica Kahawaty will wear an extensively beaded sheer bodysuit with a gold and silver jewelled neckpiece and bright red sequin sarong at the 62nd Miss World beauty pageant in Mongolia next month.
The national costume was unveiled at a charity high tea event in Melbourne last week, which was designed by Julie Sufi of Belluccio and inspired by Aboriginal art and the Australian landscape.2011: Miss World Australia's gown a fashion flop
The costume has sparked a outcry from fashion critics everywhere, receiving a resounding thumbs down from Project Runway TV show mentor and fashion designer Alex Perry.
"I never knew Egyptian sea urchins were Australian? The creators of Avatar called, they want their catsuit back," he said.
"I can't see the connection to Australiana in this - it has a little too much Cirque du Soleil for my liking."
Project Runway runner-up and Melbourne bridal wear designer Craig Braybrook echoed Perry’s sentiments.
"Avatar going to the beach in a red sarong," he said. "Since when was Australia a part of the African continent?"GALLERY: Celebrity fashion transformations
Designer Helen Manuell thought it looked African rather than Australian.
"It's a bodysuit with beads inspired by Tutankhamen and the Egyptian pharoahs," she said. "Thank God it's not a design competition.
"Why does our national costume always need to be so cringe-worthy?"
It is true. Our national costume has always been one of contention, with last year’s costume being labeled as “boring”.
"It was a bit hard determining what a national costume is because we don't have one," designer Julie Sufi said.
"Last year was a bit conservative and the public took the gown as a bit safe," she said.
While the votes are in from our Australian designers, it will be interesting to see what international opinions are on the “Avatar meets Cirque du Soleil” costume.
You can see more at Belluccio.